Read Time: 2 Minutes

 

We are extremely pleased to announce the promotion of Invoke Media team member Kirsty to Marketing Executive.

Joining us in October 2019, Kirsty instantly made a great impression with her ‘can do’ attitude and ability to work autonomously to a high standard. 

Kirsty, our newly appointed Marketing Executive

She has successfully managed key accounts and conceived, executed and managed several high-quality campaigns for our clients, proving her to be a valuable asset to the team. Aside from her work with clients, in her role as a Marketing Assistant, she’s successfully managed work experience students and interns and is highly regarded by both the team and clients for her personable approach and strong work ethic.

In these uncertain times, every business needs a Kirsty.

Jack Barron, Director of Invoke Media said:

“Kirsty made a great impression at her interview and that impression has only been reinforced with her skills, expertise and work ethic ever since. She’s been acting in the marketing executive role for some time, and it is only right that she be promoted formally to this position as soon as possible.

She’s acted as support for other team members, cracks on with her work and isn’t afraid to speak her mind when needed. Exactly what we need, especially in these uncertain times. She’s been a great hire and a pleasure to have on the team”.

Kirsty has worked on campaigns across hospitality, events, recruitment and e-commerce and has consistently performed to a high standard. Her promotion takes effect as of 1st April 2020.

Jack jokingly adds:

“Hiring Kirsty just proves how good I am at making decisions, now can all other employers reading this please back off and stay away. She’s going nowhere”.

As a marketing executive, Kirsty will be given additional responsibilities and will now actively be involved in the recruitment and training of team members, with a view to growing and managing her own team by the end of the year.

Do you think you could be a Kirsty? We’re currently not actively recruiting, but are accepting speculative CVs. Please email Hello@invokemedia.co.uk

 

Jack Barron

Director

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Starting his marketing journey at age 15 promoting music events, Jack went on to plan, market and execute his own events before joining the British Army and serving two front-line tours of Helmand Province. Upon returning to ‘civvy street’ he set up Rebel Marketing to provide marketing consultancy services to the events industry. At around the same time, he undertook an Events Management Degree at the University of Central Lancashire, attaining a 1st Class (Hons) Bachelor Degree, before moving to Manchester to work as the digital marketing manager for a city centre agency specialising in financial services marketing, eventually becoming their marketing director.
Whilst there he undertook an MSc in Marketing Communications at Manchester Metropolitan Unversity before reactivating and rebranding Rebel Marketing as Invoke Media in 2015. After moving Invoke Media to his hometown of Preston in 2018 to support the development and growth of the area, he has since started further studies and is due to complete another MSc in Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.
Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. His experience working in the fast-moving events industry from a young age, along with a strong drive and discipline fostered by his time on the front line, all contribute to the work ethic and values of the company.

In times of uncertainty, your marketing activity may be the last thing on your mind, but maintaining an active online presence is incredibly important. Now is the time to reassure customers, share positive news and provide company announcements. 

There’s a multitude of things you can be doing to keep your brand/business/organisation front of mind, aside from selling or marketing messages. 

What is Front of Mind Awareness?

First of all, you may be wondering what Front of Mind (FoM) even is. Front of Mind Awareness (also known as Top of Mind Awareness) is defined as the first brand, product or service that comes to mind in a specific category. 

Here’s a quick exercise for you, what’s the first brand that comes to mind when asked the following?

Sofa?

Coffee?

Luxury Cars?

Marketing Agency?

Soft Drink?

I tried this with our marketing assistant Nina and this is what she said:

Sofa? DFS

Coffee? Costa

Luxury car? Ferrari 

Marketing Agency? Invoke Media 

Soft drink? Coke

Chances are many of these answers will be similar, simply because big brands have curated a large mass of relevant and cohesive content, memorable adverts and have spent top dollar on advertising. 

Now, lots of small businesses don’t have multi-million budgets but there are many ways you can stay front of mind with an SME budget and achieve big brand awareness. 

5 Steps to Keep Front of Mind

Be different

Start with what makes you different as a brand. Consider what makes your company special. Is it market niche? High service level? Clearly articulate this message to customers across social media channels and email. If you’re struggling to determine your key USP’s we’d advise on performing a competitor analysis using SWOT as a framework, to learn their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will clearly help you define who you are as a brand and your key unique selling points. A competitor analysis helps you learn the ins and out of how your competition works, and identify what they’re doing wrong and how you can do it better. We regularly run these for our own business and for our clients, and they’re a great way of keeping on top of the market, and understanding what is working (and isn’t!) for others. 

 

Connect emotionally

This is a huge one for all businesses. By doing something small, it proves to your customers that you genuinely care about them, creates memorability and it resonates with the public. If a social media feed is full of negativity, a positive post really can hit home with many consumers. How you do that will depend on your type of business but here’s one that really struck a chord with us: 

Local Preston restaurant The Silk Route delivered free food to frontline health workers. This small gesture will stick at the forefront of many customer’s minds and they’ll likely order from there again. We know where we’ll be getting our next office takeaway from 🙂 

 Of course, it is essential that you act appropriately and any goodwill gestures are genuine, and from the heart. Your customers aren’t daft and they won’t appreciate it if they think you’re taking advantage of the situation to further your own ends. 

Check with someone and see how it looks from an objective eye. We’re more than happy to help you at no cost if you just need us to look at something and give our opinion.

 

Edgar the Dragon: John Lewis…experts at connecting with their audience emotionally.

Build an email list

Building an email list takes time and a solid strategy, but it’s well worth it to be able to market to your customers and stay front of mind, with one of the most cost-effective digital marketing channels. 

Here are some ways you can build your list: 

  • Offer value-added material on your site or social to capture email addresses (a free recipe, a discount code)
  • Launch a competition on your social media or website
  • Ask your existing contacts and customers if they’d be okay going on your list
  • Put an exit-intent popup on your site

If you’ve already got a loyal following of newsletter subscribers, you’re halfway there. By emailing your subscribers regularly with fresh and relevant content, you’ll stay front-of-mind and ultimately will keep your customers’ engaged. The inbox is one of the most direct ways to connect with audiences, as long as emails are consistent and packed with value. 

 

Use consistent branding

Use any downtime your teams may have currently to re-evaluate your branding. Look at your brand identity as a whole, your website design, the look and feel of your social media channels, the quality of images, infographics. All of these contribute to brand recall. You may have the best product or service out there but if you have branding that isn’t consistent or looks poor, your business may not be front-of-mind. 

One of the key starting points for many businesses is to consult their Style Guide/Brand Guidelines. If you haven’t got one take a look at some fantastic templates. We’ve created two versions for you to look at, see the corporate style HERE or the more modern style HERE.

The Style Guide will act as your bible for all things branding, take the time to re-evaluate your fonts and colour choices. Are there any colour contrasts? Is the header typeface legible? Something as simple as a colour can really impact your brand, according to Forbes Magazine “Color improves brand recognition by up to 80%”. Take note of some of these questions when you are looking at your branding strategy, if you do require any additional help, please contact us and we’d e happy to help.

By having a clearly defined set of brand guidelines you can ensure consistency across your marketing communications and business as a whole. This becomes all the more important when you hire new staff or outsource elements of your marketing to other businesses.

 

Create freebies

Everyone loves a freebie – either a free trial, free download, free eBook or free advice. It’s a great starting point for brands to connect with a consumer on the buyer journey. Once you have their trust there is a much higher likelihood that they will buy from you or re-engage with your services again. Please do ensure that this tactic is part of an overall marketing strategy, to effectively manage your results. 

Will you be trying any of the tips above? If so let us know, it’d be great to hear some success stories. 

As we like to practice what we preach, we will be providing a series of free guides, articles and resources in the Lancashire area, advising on how best to mitigate the negative effects of COVID-19 on their business. We will be happy to provide you with advice or help in any way that we can assist your business, just get in touch.

 

Kirsty Doyle

Marketing Executive

Invoke Media

01772 921 109

Being successful in business is about more than simply having a great idea and a good business model. It’s also about nurturing your own character so that you, yourself, can be successful in whatever you do. This is especially important when you’re a small or medium-sized business, where you often find that the directors and founders wear multiple ‘hats’, performing a range of job functions within the business.

There’s a reason why so many successful businessmen and women seem somewhat similar to one another: confident, outgoing, and forward-thinking. There are certain character traits that just lend themselves to good business acumen, and topping the list should be optimism. Here are six reasons why optimism is a trait every entrepreneur should seek to possess.

1. Optimism increases productivity

Research has shown that optimistic people work harder, probably because they can more clearly see the goal they’re working towards. Maintaining a positive outlook is proven to increase productivity and therefore make you better at business.

2. Optimism begets optimism

A good mood is contagious, and optimism is largely the same; business is usually people-centric, and when you’re constantly surrounded by clients, colleagues, and staff, the last thing you want to do is put them off with your dreary personality. People around you will enjoy your optimism and probably become more optimistic themselves because of it.

Heard of the law of attraction? Whilst it is widely considered pseudoscientific, there’s something to be said for having a positive mindset. Believing that you can achieve your goals, and conveying that to those around you, is certainly going to be helpful (if not a precondition!) of success.

3. Optimism doesn’t accept failure

Failure is normal; not every business venture succeeds. Those entrepreneurs who succeed overall are the ones who can take failures and get back up again with determination in their eyes. Pessimists fall at the first hurdle; optimists stay in the race. In times of hardship, which in business you will undoubtedly face, the ability to dust off and get back up is essential. The Coronavirus Pandemic, which floored businesses and the economy as a whole, could be viewed as the end, or as an opportunity, lesson or rebirth. How you perceive setback and how you respond to them will have a direct impact on the resilience of your business.

Optimism: An essential attribute of entrepreneurialism

4. Optimism is healthier

Whether you’re in business or not, it’s a good idea to nurture your own sense of optimism if only for your health. A study conducted by the University of Illinois found that optimistic participants were 76% more likely to have an ‘ideal’ health score.

5. Optimism means growth

Optimists are more likely than pessimists to venture outside of their comfort zones and try something new. In business, nothing is more important than this. The old adage rings true: nothing risked, nothing gained. Business is all about innovation, and how can we innovate if we’re afraid to try something new?

6. Optimism just… makes sense

At the end of the day, pessimism is just not going to get you very far. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, why are you doing it? You might as well just quit, right? When you realise that optimism really is the only sensible attitude you can have when it comes to business, you’ll realise how important it is to practice thinking positively – even when the chips are down.

For advice and assistance with business strategy and marketing – or even just a friendly pep talk in entrepreneurial optimism – don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Local Businesses Affected By COVID-19 Pandemic To Receive Free Support

Preston marketing agency Invoke Media offers free services to local businesses to help them survive the impact of COVID-19

Cotton Court Business Centre based marketing agency Invoke Media, are offering a range of free services to local businesses affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic, to help them survive the difficult economic climate.

The move comes as the future of tens of thousands of businesses in the county is brought into question as a result of the pandemic and the associated measures aimed at curbing its spread.

Free support for Lancashire based SMEs

The services are being offered free of charge, and without a catch, obligation or any attempt by the agency to sell services. The charitable move comes as Invoke themselves suffer in the current climate of uncertainty.

Invoke moved their business to Preston from Manchester in June of 2018, in part, to support and be a part of the growth and development of the Central Lancashire area; a move that Invoke Media director says has been massively beneficial to the business.

 

 

Jack Barron, Director of Invoke Media said:

“We moved the business to my home town nearly 2 years ago to be a part of its growth. Financially it was the best move we could have made, and we have been working with some amazing clients from the local area. There’s a great business community around here and we have a lot to be grateful to Preston and Lancashire for.

I think now is an opportunity for us to pay back into the local business community and local economy when it needs it most. We’re here for the long haul, that’s got to be through the tough times as well as the good ones. Now is the time to get stuck in and help others in the area who find themselves struggling or set back because of recent events”.

Many businesses have found themselves without cash flow, and have therefore stopped marketing or disengaged with their agencies. Invoke Media intend to provide an alternative option, that allows businesses to stay at the forefront of their customer’s minds without any financial burden.

Their ability to provide these services free of charge is owed largely to a comprehensive business continuity and resilience plan written earlier in the year. Key members of the team will not be furloughed, instead, any additional capacity created as a result of COVID-19 will be put to use helping the local business community.

Invoke Media Director Jack Barron

Jack Barron added:
“We aren’t expecting to onboard any new clients over the next three months at the very least, and we ourselves have been hit hard by recent events, with 80% of our revenue disappearing within a week. What better way to use the capacity generated over the coming months than to help others and build bridges in the local community.

We have been humbled by the kind acts of other businesses and we’d like to pass that goodwill forward”.

Services include group conference calls with local business owners, one-to-one support and consultancy, social media management, marketing health checks and much more.

The services are available immediately with monthly reviews. Some services are expected to be in high demand, so you are advised to enquire as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

 

 

 

To take advantage of the offer visit: http://www.invokemedia.co.uk/coronavirus-business-assistance/

Press Contact
Kirsty Doyle, Marketing Executive
Invoke Media

Email
Kirsty@invokemedia.co.uk

Telephone
01772 921 109

The threat of disruption comes in many forms for the modern organisation. Things like viruses, earthquakes and cyber attacks are bigger threats than ever. With technology playing an ever-increasing role in business processes and consumer expectations, there are more things that can go wrong. You’ll rarely be given any advance warning when a disruption occurs, so the only way to be prepared is to have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP). But what is a BCP, how does it work and how do you create one?

What is a BCP?

A BCP gives comprehensive guidance on the procedures and processes that must be followed in the event an organisation experiences a significant disruption. It must identify the risks that could cause issues for the organisation, such as:

– Economic issues
– Civil unrest
– Internal vulnerabilities
– Cyberattacks/Cybercrime
– Technological problems
– Extreme weather events
– Public health issues

Business disruption can come in many forms.

Every identified risk should be followed by a set of temporary measures and/or quick fixes to keep as many important business operations as functional as possible. Most organisations will prioritise their technologies, as things like online systems, network connections, phone lines, servers, business applications and network drives are all vulnerable to disruption. Furthermore, if something goes wrong with any of these technologies, it can cause serious problems across the entire business.

That said, business continuity planning is about more than just protecting IT functions. It centres around the critical activities that could instantly jeopardise your services and productivity if disrupted. Thus, IT is one of several resources that are essential for the preservation of those activities.

Restoring your IT could take some time, so it’s important to have plans in place for how business can keep going in the meantime. Temporary solutions can be low-tech ones, like carrying out processes with good old pen and paper. Whatever solutions you plan, they should be thoroughly documented in a BCP to inform employees of how to proceed.

What should be included in a BCP?

There are certain things any good BCP should cover. These are:

Purpose and scope:

You must establish the purpose of the plan and what it covers, particularly if your organisation includes subsidiaries and/or multiple locations. You may want to consider making separate plans for each subsidiary/location.

Responsibilities:

You must identify the employees who will be responsible for enacting the plan. Smaller organisations might only need a single leader, while larger organisations may need to nominate a group. You may also need to give authority to anyone who needs to handle the financial costs of disruption.

Plan invocation:

When and how will the plan come into effect? It’s not always clear whether a disruption meets the criteria, so you will need to document who starts the process and how to mobilise the response teams.

Development of the BCP:

This is where you put the meat onto the bones; the actions needed to recover from the disruptions you identify. You will need to carry out a risk assessment and a Business Impact Assessment (BIA) to identify threats and the impact they will have on your organisation. With this information to hand, you can outline the steps required for each disruption to protect people, contain the disruption and prevent further disturbance to priority activities.

Communication:

Plan for how internal and external communications will be maintained. This might include how to notify next of kin if your employees’ wellbeing is at risk. You will also want to plan for communications with the media.

Stakeholders: Your BCP should contain contact details of stakeholders, as they will need to be notified immediately following a disruption.

Document owner, approver and record of changes:

The BCP is owned by the business continuity manager, who takes responsibility for reviewing and testing the procedures.

Managing changes:

The plan should be available in both hard copy and digital formats, and all staff should have access. If changes are made, the digital and hard copy forms must be updated.

Doing it right

If you include everything listed above, the other key consideration is to test, or ‘validate’, it. You should test it at least twice a year to ensure it is still relevant. Having a business plan for preserving continuity following a disruption will help protect your organisation’s reputation, boost employee morale and strengthen relationships with third parties and subsidiaries. Every organisation should have a BCP – you will be glad of it if/when something happens. If you don’t have a BCP in place already, you should address that immediately to ensure your organisation can remain productive at all times.

Not on Instagram yet? Been a while since you updated your Facebook page? You’re missing a trick! Social media marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of reaching your audience, as well as building brand loyalty. If you’re serious about providing your customers with the very best possible experience, as well as raising your visibility among your target audience, social media is a must. We’ve put together a few of the points that prove social media is an absolute essential for successful restaurant marketing.

1. Social Proof

Customer feedback and reviews create social proof, building trust in your brand. In fact, reviews are one of the key drivers for decision making when it comes to product purchasing, especially in the hospitality industry. With some sources suggesting that potential customers give online reviews the same weight as a recommendation from a friend, it makes sense to encourage as much public feedback as possible. Encouraging customers to share pictures of your dishes on their social media (especially Instagram), is also a fantastic way to let more people know just what delights are in store when they choose you for their next meal out.

2. Be Part of What’s Going On

From celebrating the seasons and national festivals with your audience to current world events or local news, social media gives you a unique opportunity to tailor what you offer to suit your audience’s needs, mood and expectations. It also provides an excellent chance to raise awareness of what you’ve got on offer and how it might benefit customers. Social media gives you the chance to connect with your audience on a deeper level than business.

3. Interaction & Connection

Few things build brand loyalty as much as interaction, which is precisely what social media marketing for restaurants encourages. From reviews through to comments, competition entries, features to share and more, social media posts provide prime content for your audience to engage with and feel connected to your business.

4. Keep Your Audience Informed

Whether it’s an emergency update to inform customers about an event that may impact on their visit (for example roadworks, refurbishment work, extreme weather or some other incident), a reminder to book early to avoid disappointment or an announcement regarding a time-limited offer, social media is a good way to quickly provide your customers with vital information.

5. Social Media is Cost-Effective

PPC, SEO and similar tactics all require a considerable amount of technical know-how, as well as a significant financial outlay. In contrast, social media is extremely easy to use (the majority of restaurant owners or proprietors will already have social media accounts – business accounts are no different) and also FREE. Although someone needs to put the work in by making regular posts, commenting appropriately and responding to customer feedback, social media for restaurants is an extremely cost-effective option.

Social media for restaurants is a proven way of attracting trade and increasing repeat business. Give it a go and see the benefits enhanced social media engagement can bring. Get in touch with us today on hello@invokemedia.co.uk

 

Jane Newby

Marketing Assistant

Preston Marketing Agency Invoke Media Invest In Expert Sleep Consultation For Staff & Clients.

Cotton Court Business Centre based Invoke Media has commissioned sleep experts Sleephubs to undertake an assessment of their team and clients. Participants will conduct an online sleep checkup and a week-long sleeping habits evaluation, before undertaking the scientifically-backed Somnify course to improve the quality of their sleep.

The move comes as Invoke Media takes a more proactive approach to the wellbeing of their team and clients, as part of their new wellness initiative. Employees already benefit from free gym memberships, and there are future plans to expand the support provided to staff and acknowledge the link between physical and mental health.

Lack of sleep can cause serious health issues and reduce productivity

Invoke Media Director Jack Barron said:

“The health benefits of sleep can not be underestimated, both physical and mental. Employers have a legal and moral obligation to the health and wellbeing of their team, and with the direction that legislation is taking, that obligation will only increase. Sleep is however often overlooked when it comes to company wellbeing and health policies.

Sleep is crucial to our mental health, physical recovery, memory formation, productivity and overall health and wellbeing. It should be at the top of every employer’s agenda, if not out of the goodness of their heart, for the benefit of their bottom line.

Tired people make mistakes, take more days off and produce less work at a lower quality than those who are properly rested. It’s time we acknowledged sleep and the impact it can have on business, big or small”.

Economists predict that poor sleep accounts for 200,000 lost working days each year. That, combined with the negative impact on productivity, amounts to an estimated annual loss of £40bn to the UK economy, that’s around 2% of GDP. 

The impact on business is clear, but the impact on individual health and wellbeing is staggering. Sleep is a biological necessity and short sleep predicts a short life according to neuroscientist and sleep expert Matthew Walker. Along with increased mortality, there is an increased risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s, negative effects on the immune system and poor mood regulation. With the World Health Organisation classing night-time shift work as a probable carcinogen, the problem is clear. 

Invoke director Jack, who is currently studying for a Masters in Psychology at the University of Central Lancashire has a personal interest in the topic. He said:

Invoke Director Jack Barron

“I’ve undertaken my latest masters degree with a keen interest in cognition, memory, habits, sleep and productivity. As someone that generally gets no more than 5 hours sleep a night, I know I am doing myself and my business a disservice and I’d like to lead the way locally in putting sleep and positive foundational habits at the top of the business agenda.

After visiting the Sante Group, a health, wellness and employee benefits business based in Fulwood, and seeing their attitude to wellbeing, I’ve decided to make proactive movements with my own business. I don’t just want it to stop at our team, I’m opening this up to our family of clients and I’d like to offer two spare spaces to Lancashire business owners and entrepreneurs free of charge, to hopefully help them and their businesses too”. 

The course, which is fully funded by Invoke Media costs around £150 per person, leverages the knowledge and experience of an international team of sleep experts. 

Participants will attend a one-hour event at Cotton Court on the 3rd of March, where they will be briefed by Sleephubs founder Charlie Oulton. They will then track their sleep habits for a week, before submitting their results and receiving an online consultation with the Sleephubs experts. Finally, they will undertake a bespoke course over a number of weeks, which experiences success rates of over 80%.

If you would like to apply for one of the two places, you must be a Lancashire based business or entrepreneur and be available to attend the event on the afternoon of 3rd March. 

You will first need to undertake the free Sleephubs checkup at sleephubs.com/checkup-about and then send a screenshot of your results to hello@invokemedia.co.uk 

Further Information

Invoke Media is a marketing agency based at Preston’s Cotton Court Business Centre after moving from Manchester in 2018. The boutique agency boasts local clients such as the San Marco Group of restaurants, healthcare insurance provider Nugent Sante and the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.

Press Contact:

Kirsty Doyle, Marketing Executive

Email:

Kirsty@Invokemedia.co.uk

Telephone:

01772  921 109

Read Time: 4 Minutes

 

For independent travel businesses, competition with major online travel agents can be fierce. Often, these operations run on a large scale and can reach a broader customer base, and as a result, pose significant challenges to the rest of the travel industry. 

For many customers, OTAs offer convenience and access to discounted holidays as well as the ability to compare offers. These may be the key factors that attract customers. However, customer service is still significant to many people. And this is the point of difference that independent travel businesses offer. 

To compete, however, it’ll take more than excellent service. You need to focus your attention on providing a combination of automation, personalisation, remarketing, and work on attaining multi-channel exposure. 

In short, to fight the dominant OTAs, you need to invest in your online presence. 

Streamline Your Operation With Automation 

Automation will be a key element in the transformation of your business. This means reviewing your processes and seeing what can be made more effecient. How can you make your operations smoother so that you can pay more attention to your customers? 

Including a personalised touch to your automation will allow your customers to retain the feeling that they are still valued and are receiving the best service possible. 

To automate your travel business, you should look at finding a single platform that can handle all of your business operations in the simplest possible way. This means a full integrating CRM functionality within your business platform. 

The technology that you use should be able to handle every aspect of your travel businesses process, including: 

  • Lead generating 
  • Responding to customer queries 
  • Taking bookings
  • Managing inventory
  • Taking payments
  • Creating sales reports

Take a Multi-Channel Approach 

To achieve maximum success with your automated systems, your CRM needs to be mobile-friendly. 

Mobile browsing accounts for more than half of web traffic, and customers will often book their holidays straight from their smartphone. In fact, the smartphone booking percentages rise closer to the date of the holiday it is. Don’t miss out on this important market share. 

Linking your service with a mobile app will improve the customer service experience while allowing you direct access to engage with your customers, and learn more about their habits and preferences. 

Having this type of technology and customer information at your disposal will make it easier when remarketing any leads have not led to a booking. 

Successful Marketing and Remarketing Using Customer Personalisation 

When improving the digital experience that your travel business offers, look for ways to create a personalised experience for your customers. This means searching for ways to engage in a meaningful way. 

Throughout the booking process, there are multiple opportunities to have automated emails and messages sent to your customers. These may include: 

  • Booking confirmations
  • Payment received messages
  • Bon voyage messages

You could, however, tailor some more personalised content that will add value to your customers. This could include: 

  • Suggestions for places to visit on their holiday 
  • Packing lists
  • Weather forecasts for the date and location of their holiday
  • Advice on visas and vaccinations 

But don’t just stop at getting in touch before their holiday. With many customers keen to book their next holiday immediately after the last one, it’s always a good idea to have automated emails sent out asking for feedback on their holiday. 

Travel marketing should not just be about making one booking. If you have promotions for returning customers or a loyalty scheme, a great chance to promote these is when asking how a customer’s holiday was. 

Make Life Easier for You and Your Customers

By developing a convenient multi-channel experience for your customers, you will be ensuring they can easily book with you, whether from a desktop site, their web browsers, or a smartphone app. 

But investing in that point of difference and finding ways to personalise the experience at every opportunity will help to remind your customers how important they are to you. It will be this that keeps your customers coming back time-and-again when you retarget them through your end-to-end system with CRM.  

Investing in technology and automation does not need to lead to a soulless experience for your customers. Remember to add your brand’s personality into everything that you do. 

Travel agent marketing using this type of automated system will save you money. You’ll be able to deliver a higher standard of personalised experience without having to worry about the additional expenses required in hiring a large team of customer service advisors. 

 

Jack Barron

Director

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Starting his marketing journey at age 15 promoting music events, Jack went on to plan, market and execute his own events before joining the British Army and serving two front-line tours of Helmand Province. Upon returning to ‘civvy street’ he set up Rebel Marketing to provide marketing consultancy services to the events industry. At around the same time, he undertook an Events Management Degree at the University of Central Lancashire, attaining a 1st Class (Hons) Bachelor Degree, before moving to Manchester to work as the digital marketing manager for a city centre agency specialising in financial services marketing, eventually becoming their marketing director.
Whilst there he undertook an MSc in Marketing Communications at Manchester Metropolitan Unversity before reactivating and rebranding Rebel Marketing as Invoke Media in 2015. After moving Invoke Media to his hometown of Preston in 2018 to support the development and growth of the area, he has since started further studies and is due to complete another MSc in Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.
Jack is passionate about marketing and helping small to medium-sized businesses thrive. His experience working in the fast-moving events industry from a young age, along with a strong drive and discipline fostered by his time on the front line, all contribute to the work ethic and values of the company.

How many times have you given a piece of advice to a friend, to then not follow it yourself when the time comes?

I don’t have enough fingers and toes to add those occasions up, and I’m going to be bold and say that the same could be said for most people. The fact is, it’s very easy to give advice in hindsight or from an objective viewpoint, but when you’re in the ‘here and now’ or heavily involved in something it’s a completely different matter. It’s almost as though we’re blind to our own reasoning and common sense.

We’re All Hypocrites

The fact is, we’re all hypocrites to some degree, not one of us is perfect. I’ve done things that are so completely out of line with my morals and views it has shocked me, and I’ve made decisions that feel like they were made by a completely different person. When this happens you get that uneasy feeling, like everything in your mind is misaligned…that’s a psychological phenomenon known as Cognitive Dissonance. 

It’s the stress you experience when you realise you hold two contradictory beliefs or values, or have done something against what you believe. It’s your mind trying to make sense of what you’ve done justify your actions to make yourself feel easier and balance out the uneasiness. I’ve had it this week.

Being self-aware and accepting that you don’t always follow your own rules and morals is healthy. When you feel that cognitive dissonance discomfort and try to justify what you’ve done, or not done, you have a choice. You can make excuses or you can take stock of the situation and hold yourself accountable. If you choose the latter and acknowledge the problem, you’re taking steps to stop it happening again and you’re learning from your mistakes. I believe it’s a crucial part of having a growth mindset.

I’m going to bring this back to business now before I start incriminating myself or ruin any friendships, but the idea is the same.

Over the years as a marketing consultant, I’ve given loads of great advice to clients, and it’s worked. I’ve leveraged years in the industry and a masters degree in Marketing to provide the best advice and solutions for people. That has continued as the business has grown and the team has expanded to create the boutique marketing agency we now operate here in Preston. But do I always follow it?

In short, no. 

Jack Barron, Invoke Media Director and Self-Confessed Hypocrite

I’m passionate about the work we do for our clients and the results we create, but being caught in the ‘here and now’ of those campaigns has meant that my own business has suffered and we’ve not done some of the basic things that we advise and execute for our customers, and that bothers me. 

We manage many social media channels on behalf of our clients and promote the benefit of regular posting of quality content, but if you were to look at our own Facebook Page for example, you will notice that we went through most of January without a post. Now that could partly to be with a great festive period and the extremely long hangovers I’m cursed with these days, but it’s not aligned with what we believe and what we advise.

Google Reviews….we generate thousands of reviews on Google, Trustpilot and Tripadvisor for clients, but our own reviews are limited, to say the least. The important thing is they’re all five-star reviews, but still…we should be practising what we preach and provide to our clients.

It’s About Trust

It’s more than just having a growth mindset and feeling good about the things we do though…it comes down to authority and leading by example. How can our clients have trust that we will provide the results they need if we aren’t demonstrating them ourselves? Anyone can share marketing advice, it’s easily found on the Internet, but are they actually able to execute it and are they practising it themselves? It’s about the proof in the pudding, and leading by example…something I have always prided myself on. 

A few weeks ago I conducted a competitor analysis for a client and identified some issues with their Google My Business listing. Living by our core values I thought I would hold myself accountable and check our own with the same competitor analysis framework. To my dismay, it had our Manchester phone number, old images and other wrong information. The cognitive dissonance kicked in, I tried to internally justify why it hadn’t been updated and started to look for people to blame, but I checked myself and remembered that the buck always stops with me…and in fact, it’s my job to sort it anyway. I fixed it there and then, and in doing so have seen a marked improvement. 

The fact is, we are never going to fully live by the advice or morals that we think that we abide by. Life is complicated, so is business. We get carried away with the day-to-day and forget some of the foundations of who we are or what we do. The important thing is understanding that this happens and acknowledging it when it does so that you reduce the chances of it happening again or mitigate its effects. 

Taking Action

I now dedicate one day per month to checking everything we do…from going through our subscriptions to auditing our website and checking our Facebook Page is up to date. The ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign goes on the door, the blinds go down and my email alerts are turned off. That’s my excuse anyway, my Internet history might tell a different story. I joke. I go through it all, and I always find something that needs changing or could be improved.

What I’m trying to get at is, if you don’t practice what you preach and hold yourself to account…how will your customers trust that you’re as good as you say you are? How can you do a good job for them when you can’t do it for yourself? Take the time to step back and look at your own business, hold it to the same scrutiny as you would a competitor or customer and make the necessary changes. Do it regularly. 

Practising What I Preach – My Promise to You

I’m going to practice what I preach in this very blog and make some public commitments that I/we as a team can be held accountable for:

  • At the time of writing, we have five 5* Google reviews. By the end of March 2020, we will have increased that to a total of fifteen genuine 5* reviews.
  • We will have posted at least 3 times per week on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, without sacrificing quality.
  • I’ve been wanting to run a marathon for years, I will have booked on a full marathon for some time in 2020 by the end of February.

Feel free to hold me to account and pull me/us up if we don’t.

 

Contact us: Hello@invokemedia.co.uk

 

Jack Barron

Director

Invoke Media

01772 921 109

Invoke Media Retires Flagship Virtual Marketing Service

Preston based marketing agency retires its successful consultancy service 

Preston based marketing agency Invoke Media have announced that they are retiring two popular services to make way for strategic growth. 

The Virtual Marketing Director and Virtual Marketing Manager services provided businesses in the North of England with marketing director or manager level support at a fraction of the cost of hiring; embedding a member of the Invoke staff with an existing business marketing team for a set number of days each month to support campaigns or upskill existing talent.

The service which has proven extremely successful has been running for two years, servicing clients across multiple industries, but is now being retired to make way for new services and to react to market demand.

Invoke Media director Jack Barron explained:

Invoke Director Jack Barron Consults with Client

“We’ve been running the virtual marketing services for a couple of years now and they’ve been a great way for us to support businesses across the region. We have recently undertaken a strategic review and assessed the needs of the market, culminating in our ‘Invoke 2020’ initiative. 

It’s an exciting initiative for us with some great opportunities for local business, making Artificial Intelligence, Messenger Marketing and Lead Generation available to businesses of all sizes. 

Unfortunately, in order to bring in the new, we need to do away with the old and retire some of our legacy services. This isn’t just to free up capacity, but also to account for the changing nature of the market, and where we sit as a business within that market”.

In recent years Invoke has led the way with innovative messenger marketing campaigns across multiple industries, and have recently delivered a campaign that utilises artificial intelligence to handle customer service enquiries and secure bookings. 

Existing users of the virtual marketing services being retired will not be affected, with the option being provided to switch to a new service when their agreement is due for renewal. 

A press release to mark the launch of a new suite of services is expected soon.

Further Information

Invoke Media are a marketing consultancy based at Preston’s Cotton Court Business Centre, having moved from their Manchester base in 2018.

Specialising in consultative strategy, paid social advertisements & lead generation, they serve a range of local and national clients across both B2B and B2C markets.

 

Press Contact:

Jack Barron, Director

Email:

Jack@Invokemedia.co.uk

Telephone:

01772  921 109